Armenian MPS for Stable Peace in the Region

All the factions and parliamentary groups of Armenia's National Assembly /parliament/ spoke Saturday for the settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh problem. Confirming their commitment to peaceful settlement of the conflict and giving a high assessment to the role of the Minsk OSCE group in the peace process, the MPs emphasised the need for a stable and lasting peace in the region. At the same time, they opposed careless moves and imposed decisions. According to the MPs, a peaceful settlement of the problem can be achieved in keeping with the following principles: unification of the Nagorny Karabakh Republic /NKR/ with Armenia or international recognition of its independent status; the NKR's direct participation in debates over the final settlement; security of the common border between the NKR and Armenia and the NKR and Azerbaijan as a guarantee of Nagorny Karabakh's security. However, the lawmakers bluntly refuted any negotiations related to an exchange of territories and condemned attempts to establish communications at the expense of Armenia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorny Karabakh erupted in February 1988. Nagorny Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan populated predominantly by Armenians, unilaterally proclaimed independence in 1991, announcing the foundation of the Nagorny Karabakh Republic. In the 1988-1994 period, the Armenian-Azeri military conflict took the lives of over 20,000 people. In May 1994, Armenia and Azerbaijan, with Russia acting as a mediator, signed a cease-fire agreement. At present, the Minsk OSCE group, headed by three co-chairmen from Russia, the USA and France, is taking steps toward drafting an all-embracing peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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